This Video Game Adapts To Your Fear

Video games are constantly evolving to become more interactive. With the birth of VR, it’s now possible to experience games in a way like never before. Some companies are taking things even further, so a game will now respond to data like your heart rate. In “Bring To Light,” a horror title from Red Meat Games, your level of fear affects the virtual world.

To play, you put on a heart rate monitor and VR headset, and fire up the game. You’ll find yourself trapped underground after a mysterious disaster. Walk through a labyrinth of dark subway tunnels solving puzzles and encountering strange shadows. Wearing the headset, you feel completely immersed in the game. If your heart rate stays slow and steady, the game get scarier. Instead of just shadows, you encounter monsters.

This isn’t the first time developers have used a person’s heart rates in their video games. In 2015, the horror game “Nevermind” featured a variety of frightening situations, like walking through a haunted house. If you get too stressed and your heart rate rises, the game becomes harder and will eventually shut down, revealing a static screen. The player has to wait until their heart rate goes back down before the game comes back. Unlike “Bring To Light,” scaring you as much as possible is not the goal. The creative developer of “Nevermind” believes the game can help people practice managing their anxiety, so when they deal with real-life situations, they have techniques to calm themselves down.

If you love being scared and want to try out “Bring To Light,” you have to buy a separate compatible heart rate monitor, though it isn’t required to play the game. A VR headset isn’t required either, but the game is fairly normal without one of those pieces. “Bring To Light” isn’t available yet for Playstation VR (though it is on Steam for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive).